In Profile with Emma Kate Nelson from the cast of Stephen Ward
Andrew Lloyd Webber has given the West End some of its biggest hit musicals, such as Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita, and of course, The Phantom of the Opera, which is one of the most successful shows in the world; currently in its 27th year, it is the second longest-running musical in the West End. He’ll be hoping to repeat his previous successes with his latest creation, Steven Ward, which began previews at the Aldwych Theatre this week (3rd December 2013). Based on the real-life events behind the 1963 Profumo Affair, the musical stars Alexander Hanson as the title character who became the scapegoat for the political scandal.
One of her earliest roles following graduation took her to Bochum, Germany, where she played Buffy/Pearl in another of Lloyd Webber’s classics, Starlight Express. Being part of a show which is performed entirely on roller skates, she can now confidently name herself as an accomplished skater and indeed features on the TT SKATE website, an agency founded by former Starlight Express performers Tanya Robb and Tristan Adams in 2010. She was also involved in a concert tour of Grease in Germany, in which she starred as Sandy.
After first appearing at the Open Air Theatre in Regent’s Park as a youth performer, she returned to its stage 12 years later to take part in the theatre’s 2007 summer season. She played Maisie in The Boyfriend, Susie in Lady Be Good and was the understudy to the role of Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Several different stage roles followed her time with the Open Air Theatre. She was cast in the leading role of Catherine ‘Babe’ Williams in a production of the Tony Award-winning musical The Pajama Game, which played at the Off-West End venue of the Union Theatre. She also played Maria in Call Me Madam (Upstairs at The Gatehouse) and May in the sell-out musical adaption of Street Scene at the Young Vic Theatre, going on to play the same role in the subsequent UK tour.
In 2009, she appeared at Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House (Lindbury Studio) in their acclaimed version of the operetta The Enchanted Pig, which first premiered at the Young Vic Theatre in 2006. She played the narcissistic Adelaide who is set to marry Pig, and when the production transferred to the New Victory Theatre on Broadway the following year, she went with it in the same role.
When she returned to the UK, she joined the renowned Chichester Festival Theatre as part of the company of Paul Kerryson’s revival of 42nd Street. She played the supporting role of chorus girl Phyllis. Following that she returned to a familiar role; May in Street Scene. She performed in the revived musical in numerous venues throughout 2011, including the Opera De Toulon in France, the Young Vic Theatre in London and in Vienna.
She took part in the London work shop of current West End musical The Bodyguard, which was adapted from the original 1992 film. Afterwards she moved on to the Southwark Theatre to play the role of Norma Cassidy in a production of Victor Victoria, the 1995 Broadway musical which attracted controversy when original star Julie Andrews refused her Tony Award nomination.
In 2013, she once again reprised her role as May in an international production of Street Scene, appearing at the Theatre De Chatelet in Paris and The Gran Liceu in Barcelona. Her other theatre credits include White Christmas (Mayflower Theatre in Southampton, Edinburgh Playhouse, Millennium Theatre in Cardiff), Ring Round The World (Unicorn Theatre) and performing as a soloist in Un Ticket Por Broadway (Opera De Toulon, France).
She is currently appearing in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s brand new musical Steven Ward at the Aldwych Theatre, performing in the ensemble and appearing as Murray’s Girl and Mariella.
Having already achieved so much in her career, Emma Kate Nelson continues to climb the ladder to success and I have no doubt that she will reach the top. As a beautiful girl with the talent to match, she radiates star quality. She is one to watch out for in Steven Ward The Musical, and for all the right reasons.
By Julie Robinson (@missjulie25)
Saturday 7th December 2013